My husband and I love active vacations, filled with lots of sight-seeing, exploring places on foot and being close to nature. But, we lead hectic lives in Mumbai – Sri, handling media and public affairs for an MNC; me, writing on lifestyle and conducting bespoke city tours – and we have recently discovered the charms of a staycation in our own city. The big-ticket trips are all very well to satiate the wanderlust and the bucket list, but staycays and mini-vacays help to destress and decompress. So, when Luxury Launches asked me to assess the staycation factor at the Trident BKC over the weekend, I was more than pleased to make the most of the opportunity.
“Thought-provoking bronzes by Dimpy Menon placed around the hotel’s common areas embody the property’s modern luxe theme.”
We checked in at 3.30 pm on a rainy Saturday. The white Club room with splashes of tomato red here and there was cheery against the grey skies outside the huge picture window and yet really cosy and inviting too. It had all the amenities you’d expect from a five-star set up but what was special was the personalised touches throughout the space. A yummy chocolate ‘tree’ under a drop-shaped bell jar celebrated all the things I do and love. And from the cushion on the bed to the crisp, white napkins placed on the fruit plate, to the towels and napkins in the bathroom, everything had both our names neatly embroidered on them! Does housekeeping have some apple-cheeked grandmas doing this, I laughed.
As we marveled at all this, Executive Chef Ajit Raman came to meet us, with his team trundling in trolleys topped with an immaculate high tea! Very propah cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches and more Millennial ones with Brie and caramelised banana. Classic scones with strawberry compote and clotted cream. Berliners, soft as a baby’s cheek, and filled with a delicious vanilla custard. Robust slices of fig cake. And hot, strong cups of coffee we craved.
We gave this spread some time to settle, then put on our swimsuits and headed to the pool. While it’s not a huge size or a great depth, the deep blue infinity pool was really great to relax in, especially with the light drizzle of the Mumbai monsoon keeping us cool. There’s a waterfall wall at one end and lots of niches where we could have a relatively private chat as we luxuriated in the perfect-temperature water. After a long soak, we realised we had just enough time for a quick shower before we headed to dinner.
Botticino, named after the beautiful Italian marble that features across the hotel, is their elegant Italian restaurant, helmed by Chef Calvin Castro and Chef Sivakumar Gopalakrishnan. Personalised menus specially curated for us, gorgeous charger plates and table settings in delicate lilac, and impeccable service made our night truly memorable. I chose bubbly as I was feeling quite effervescent, while my teetotaller spouse had a dynamite drink that blended green chilli and khus. He suggested to the bright young man behind the bar that he could add absinthe to this potent concoction to heighten its hit for those who drink alcohol. The meal was a procession of perfectly prepared and timed plates split across six courses. We loved the beetroot tartar under the beautifully textured warm goat cheesecake, the spectacular lobster ravioli with a green pea puree, crustacean foam and the ingenious touch of a bit of pickled lemon! The slow-baked cauliflower custard was a revelation – a satisfying stack of wild mushroom, layered with mozzarella fondue and drizzled with truffle oil. Executive Sous Chef Mayukh Mazumdar, who is behind the bakery and pastry at the hotel came in with Chef Calvin Castro to present dessert – a refreshing sphere of yoghurt mousse with passion fruit custard and mango puree.
After this ode to excess, it’s no wonder that the significant other hit the gym early the next morning! Burning the calories and toning the muscles builds appetite, so he headed to the bright brunch at 022, while I sampled the breakfast in bed. Customised to exactly what I was in the mood for, it went well with the Sunday papers and the lounge music I played on their handy bedside gizmo.
“The balance between being a business hotel and a boutique property is hard to achieve, but the Trident BKC does it superbly.”
Next we booked a couple’s therapy room at their beautiful spa. From the three aromatic massage oils, I almost chose Calm, which was sandalwood and camphor, but I finally decided to go for Relax, an alluring eucalyptus and black pepper. He picked Uplift, which was a heady combination of rose and wood. Side by side, we had all the knots kneaded out of our system. Their masseuses were wonderful and I almost floated away on a cloud, so relaxed was every inch of my body! A soak in the tub, a hot shower and steam, my favourite Kama Ayurveda toiletries and the very serene atmosphere rejuvenated us.
“They’re celebrating 10 years since they first opened, but the overall feel is fresh, not dated at all. “
We then had to head to lunch although we were both so full from their lavish breakfast! They very considerately listened to our request for tiny portions even though it was another beautiful personalised tasting menu. This time, at the Indian restaurant Maya, with Angad Rai, Sous Chef Indian Cuisine, overseeing the kitchen. We relished the delicacies on offer despite having no appetite, they were that good! The smoked shakkarkand ki chaat that took us to the soft sweet potatoes we ate off a cart on a cold Delhi morning. The tomato soup was elevated with the addition of holy basil; the melt-in-your-mouth nadroo ki shammi, made with lotus stem and garnished with a hint of bhaang (hemp seed dust) gave us a high with its velvety texture; the juicy lobster was done with delish dried coconut and garlic like the local dry garlic chutney.
After a lunch like this, there was no way out but to go have that Sunday snooze. We had planned to have evening tea by the pool, but I landed up with a bad backache so I stayed in bed while Sri took a dip and a steam. When they heard of my discomfort, Communications Manager Sai Vaidya and her thoughtful team immediately sent up a hot water bottle and served a comforting high tea in the room again. This time, it was a smorgasbord of Indian goodies. Authentic and tasty local savouries like onion bhajiyas, dhokla and alu vadi (patra in Gujarati) served with proper masala chai. And then the sweets – besan laddoos, chirota, shankarpara and hot jalebis – with hot black tea and lemon, just right to cheer one up on a rainy evening.
Verdict? The staycay was pure pleasure and we went home feeling very pampered and extremely rested and refreshed.
Where: Trident Hotel Bandra Kurla
C 56, G Block, Bandra Kurla Complex,
Mumbai – 400098
Phone: 022 6672 7777
Note: The critic was invited by the hotel but all the opinions expressed herewith are her own